Photo: Eli Elgarat
Tzipi Livni
Photo: Eli Elgarat
Photo: Reuters
Turning point: Qana
Photo: Reuters

Extra reserves call-up okayed

Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee approves call-up of another 3 divisions; Foreign Minister Livni: No time limit on IDF operation despite ongoing diplomatic efforts

The Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee approved Tuesday Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's and Defense Minister Amir Peretz's decision to call-up another three reserve divisions to boost troops fighting in Lebanon.


The only opposition to the call-up was voiced by Knesset Member Yossi Beilin, who argued that "Israel is making a grave mistake by boosting IDF ground operations."


Israel is entering a trap prepared by Nasrallah, Beilin claimed, instead of making the utmost effort to work out a cease-fire.


Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the Committee that IDF operations in Lebanon were not constrained by time limitations.


"It would be a mistake to bind ourselves to declarations regarding the exit point of IDF troops from southern Lebanon," she said. Livni made the remarks in reply to a question by Knesset Member Limor Livnat, who voiced her concern about a "black hole" being left behind once the IDF withdraws from Lebanon.


Turning her attention to the air raid that left dozens of civilians dead in the Lebanese village of Qana, Livni said: "The incident became a turning point not only in the PR arena but also led to a retreat in the attempts to secure diplomatic achievements…which we tried to push from the day the two IDF soldiers were kidnapped."


"At the outset of the military operation we set out diplomatic objectives and immediately sprung into action to achieve them," the minister said.


Addressing Israel's deterrence power, Livni added: "The Israeli government's determined response…changed Hassan's Nasrallah assessments regarding Israel's pattern of activity."


"Israel in fact conveyed an unequivocal message that it intends to bring about a total change in the rules of the game," Livni said. "There's no doubt the military operation boosts Israel's deterrent power." 


פרסום ראשון: 08.01.06, 17:09
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